The public are not the only ones the federal agencies are keeping information from – they also are deceiving each other and Congress. According to a report by NBC News the FBI had a mole within Al Qaeda who even met with Osama Bin Laden but hid the information from Congressional investigators and the 9/11 commission.
The mole met with Bin Laden and helped confirm Bin Laden’s role in financing Al Qaeda. The information gleaned from the mole also apparently helped prevent a terrorist attack on a masonic lodge in California.
The mole, NBC News has learned exclusively, was a Los Angeles-based “driver and confidante” of the “Blind Sheikh,” Omar Abdel-Rahman, now in prison for his role in planning the original 1993 terror attack on New York’s World Trade Center. Information from the mole helped stop a bin Laden-backed plot against a Masonic Lodge in L.A. in the mid-‘90s, according to courtroom testimony by Ed Curran, who was the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s L.A. office at the time.
Part of the story came out in a 2010 lawsuit by an employee of the FBI, Bassam Youssef, in a discrimination lawsuit that focused on the FBI’s counter-terrorism unit. Many of the other revelations proved embarrassing such as senior FBI officials not knowing the difference between Sunni and Shiite Islam.
Lee Hamilton, a co-chair of the 9/11 Commission, said the information from the FBI about a mole was never disclosed to the commission. The FBI responded by saying it had disclosed “all relevant information.”
The mole was ultimately killed in Bosnia after switching from the FBI to work for the CIA. While working as an agent for the CIA the mole came under suspicion from other Al Qaeda operatives as being an informant and is believed to have been killed as a result. According to NBC, the mole may have been the first person to tell the FBI about the existence of the Al Qaeda organization and later arranged a trip his home country of Sudan where he met with a then less famous Osama Bin Laden.
Why the FBI withheld the information is still unknown.